|Venue:||Ikon Park, Carlton.|
|Date:||Friday 23rd September, 2022 (7.30 pm).|
|Result:||Lost by 42 points.|
|Goalkickers:||B. Moody 1.0, G. Pound 0.1, A. McKay 0.1.|
|Umpires:||Joel Clamp, Thomas Chrystie, Jordyn Pearson.|
|Injuries:||K. Peterson (nose)|
Dees back on winners list after making short work of Blues - Sarah Black.
Melbourne has rebounded after last week's loss to Brisbane, comfortably accounting for Carlton by 42 points at Ikon Park. The Demons had suffered their first loss of the season to the ladder-leading Lions, but enjoyed the chance to take on a well-below strength Blues in the 7.8 (50) to 1.2 (8) victory. Carlton sprung a selection surprise, recalling young key forward Serena Gibbs for her first game of 2022, only to have her line up on Melbourne spearhead Tayla Harris in the absence of Paige Trudgeon (concussion). Harris relished the opportunity against an inexperienced opponent, booting two goals in the first quarter to reach 50 AFLW career goals and finishing with three for the game. The Blues struggled to control play through possession, Melbourne's pressure forcing continual turnovers and bomb kicks out of defensive 50.
The rain came at half-time and continued into the third term, and the Blues came out with intent, peppering their front half but struggling to find a marking target. By contrast, Melbourne found scoring straightforward, but had its own battles with inaccuracy. Mimi Hill (33 disposals, five clearances) and Abbie McKay (18, seven tackles) fought valiantly in the midfield, while Mua Laloifi (14 intercepts) stood up well in defence under enormous pressure, Melbourne piling on 46 inside 50's to Carlton's 13. It was a well-rounded, mature team effort from the Demons. Liv Purcell's fine season continued with another 30 touches, while Eliza West's creative handballs (14 from 20 touches, seven tackles) helped the Dees out of several tight spots. The ruck battle between All-Australians Breann Moody and Lauren Pearce was intriguing, with Moody perhaps just having a slight edge. The two even kicked a goal apiece, Pearce's coming with a flourish in the final minutes of her 50th match.
Blues patching holes
Carlton hit the trigger for injury replacement players during the week, signing former Tiger Christina Bernardi to her fourth club. The key forward slotted in place of Phoebe McWilliams, whose season is done with a foot injury. In the absence of Darcy Vescio (finger), Gab Pound was moved into a small forward role, occasionally pushing up to the wing. Jess Dal Pos took Pound's defensive role on Daisy Pearce, Gibbs was swung into defence to cover for Trudgeon.
50 of the best
Only Harris could bring up her 50th career goal against her former side. The dynamic forward has come a long way since the start of her career as a marquee signing for Brisbane at just 19. She made the move to Carlton the following year, before jumping over to the Dees for the 2022 season. Harris brought up the milestone in her 53rd game, averaging just a touch under a goal per game.
"We started the season well against Adelaide, but we feel we've been inconsistent since then. We've had some good periods and won some games, but Brisbane showed us we need to work harder and we had a few flaws in our game. We had a lot of supply in our forward half, we just wanted to be stronger and more direct and give our forwards more opportunity, and we felt we did that." – Melbourne coach Mick Stinear
"They're a serious contender for the flag. We knew it was going to be an enormous challenge for us tonight with the squad we assembled. It was a great opportunity for players to get out there and test themselves against the best. They're great moments, the outcome isn't what we wanted, clearly, but we can't question our effort. Our method got caught up at times, their strength and physicality and cleanliness made a big impact on the game." – Carlton coach Daniel Harford
Melbourne will be facing a revitalised Fremantle on its home deck on Sunday, while Carlton and Greater Western Sydney will battle it out for some much-needed points at Henson Park on Saturday.
Best: M. Hill, A. McKay, V. Laloifi, B. Moody.
Blues fall to DeesIt was a seven-goal defeat for the Game Changers in Round 5. - By Cristian Filippo, Carlton Media.
Carlton has fallen by 42 points to Melbourne in Round 5 AFLW action. After a one-point win and successive draws in the last three weeks, the Blues suffered their first defeat since Round 1 on the back of a dominant first half by the Dees. Mimi Hill was again outstanding in the middle of the ground, amassing a career-high 33 disposals, but the visitors had too many contributors all over the ground. The Dees dominated forward territory all night, finishing with 33 more inside 50's on the night while the Blues were unable to make the most of their half chances. With a wealth of experience missing for the Game Changers, the team battled strongly all night to finish with 60 tackles for the game. Continuing her recent form in front of goal, Breann Moody conjured a moment of magic to give the Blues a second-quarter spark: three of her four goals this season have come directly from inside-50 ruck contests.
As the Dees surged the ball inside 50 in wet conditions, Vaomua Laloifi continued her solid form of recent weeks, shaking off the effects of a big hit in the second term to end the game with 14 intercept possessions. In a whirlwind personal week, Christina Bernardi adapted well given the circumstances, collecting seven disposals and laying four tackles despite limited opportunities in attack. Despite holding the rampaging Demons to just a goal apiece in the final two terms, the damage was well and truly done on the scoreboard as the away side emerged with a seven-goal victory. The Game Changers head north next week to take on Greater Western Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
Best: M. Hill, V. Laloifi, B. Moody, A. McKay
|B:||6 Gab Pound||8 Vaomua Laloifi|
|HB:||2 Jess Dal Pos||23 Daisy Walker||13 Lucy McEvoy|
|C:||17 Charlotte Hammans||46 Elise O'Dea||9 Kerryn Peterson (c)|
|HF:||4 Keeley Skepper||15 Jess Good||25 Keeley Sherar|
|F:||28 Imogen Milford||32 Natalie Plane|
|Ruck:||16 Breann Moody||10 Mimi Hill||5 Abbie McKay|
|Interchange:||24 Brooke Vickers||33 Serena Gibbs||20 Lily Goss|
|44 Christina Bernardi||11 Annie Lee|
|Emg:||34 Taylor Ortlepp||15 Jessica Jones||35 Poppy Schaap|
In: Christina Bernardi, Serena Gibbs, Charlotte Hammans, Natalie Plane
Out: Phoebe McWilliams (fractured foot), Paige Trudgeon (concussion), Amelia Velardo (concussion), Darcy Vescio (fractured finger).
MilestonesDebut (Carlton): Christina Bernardi
AFLW Coaches Votes9 - Tayla Harris (MELB)
9 - Eliza West (MELB)
6 - Vaomua Laloifi (CARL)
4 - Olivia Purcell (MELB)
2 - Sarah Lampard (MELB)